San Antonio State Rep. Roland Gutierrez made it official on Saturday at Brook City-Base: He's running to replace embattled State. Sen. Carlos Uresti, who was convicted on 11 counts of fraud and money laundering charges in February. Gutierrez announced his campaign even though Uresti has not left his Senate seat.
Standing on a platform with a banner behind him that read, “New Energy. New Ideas,” Gutierrez joked to the San Antonio crowd that it looks like his secret is out.
“I didn’t say we were running, just yet. It’s kind of hard to keep a secret with that behind you,” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez said, in the weeks before the 2017 legislative session, he traveled with his family throughout the expansive Senate District 19 — which runs through the southern part of San Antonio and then west through Del Rio and Brewster County — visiting along the way with the families that have been forgotten.
“And so I’ve become aware there is a greater community in need, and I feel that I have the ability to help address that need, and I can’t stand by here in good conscience while they wait,” he said. “And therefore, I’ve asked all of you here today to announce my candidacy for the 19th senatorial district.”
Despite his criminal convictions, Uresti has said he is not planning on stepping down from his seat, despite being stripped of all Senate responsibilities and asked by his Senate colleagues to resign. He isn’t up for re-election until after the 2019 legislative session.
“If he doesn’t resign, I imagine that the governor and the Texas Senate can vote him out come January,” Gutierrez said, “and this community needs somebody to represent them, so I implore him to do the right thing.”
If Uresti resigns at the start of the session, Gutierrez said the governor would announce a special election for the open seat sometime in the middle of the session. But Gutierrez expects Uresti to step down sometime this summer.
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